A History of “the” Lost Gap

Southern Railway train detouring near Meehan Junction not far from Lost Gap, J. Parker Lamb Collection June 1954

On November 1, 2012, Steve Gillespie, Managing Editor of The Meridian Star, referencing the book Railroads of Meridian by J. Parker Lamb, wrote an article in which he detailed the history behind the name Lost Gap:

Lost Gap (just outside of Meridian, Mississippi) got its name because of a compass failure that occurred during construction of the Southern Railroad line around 1859.

For three days two surveying crews each waited on the other to join up with them to lay out the route. Finally their search parties met up.

Underground iron deposits were blamed for the mix-up, skewing the magnetic compasses, which caused the eastbound crew to veer south, and the westbound crew to veer north. Consequently the route has an unplanned section of track running north and south — a “lost gap” in the original route survey.

The Alabama and Vicksburg Railroad operated the rail line through Lost Gap from 1899-1926. A map from this era from Mississippi Rails shows the strange curve in the rail line at Lost Gap.

On the Facebook group Remember When in Meridian, MS, Betty Joe Alexander posted the Meridian Star article below from 1964 detailing the “daylighting ” (the removal of the roof) of the railroad tunnel in Lost Gap.

Band members and brothers Keith and Brent grew up in Lost Gap and after collaborating on a variety of musical projects over the years, decided at this particular season in life that The Lost Gap best fits their past and current musical vision.

Kansas City Southern; Lost Gap MS; 2/23/11
Steve Barry, Kansas City Southern; Lost Gap MS; 2/23/11 A Kansas City Southern westbound heads under Old Highway 80, leaving behind the home of the Singing Brakeman, Jimmie Rodgers, in Meridian and approaching the borough of Chunky.

1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s